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As the Parade Winds Down, Draft Prep Does Too

Our friends at You+Dallas bring us this outstanding look at last week's Mavericks championship parade:

But as the euphoria wanes a bit into the doldrums of another Texas summer, what is next for the Mavs? Whenever the labor situation is figured out (could take a while), they have important decisions to make about Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea and DeShawn Stevenson, but this week is the NBA Draft, and the Mavs will be picking at #26 and #57.

It is important that the Mavs turn around their horrid drafting acumen of recent years (Shan Foster, Nick Fazekas and Maurice Ager, anyone?) and hit a home run late like they still might have with Roddy Beaubois and Josh Howard (before he partied his way out of Dallas). While a championship is fresh on everyone's brain, this team is still the oldest in the NBA and could use an infusion of qualified, young talent if they want to stay atop the NBA's mountain.

The 26th pick has been good to NBA teams lately. Taj Gibson (2009 CHI), George Hill (2008 SA), Aaron Brooks (2007 Houston), and Jordan Farmar (2006 LAL) were all drafted in the last half of the prior decade and became very usable parts. Going back a little further, Kevin Martin, Gerald Wallace and Vlade Divac were all 26th picks in the draft. So there is value there, it is up for the Mavs to sniff it out.

So who will be there at #26 this year? Most mocks have the Mavs going for a forward such as the Latvian Davis Bertrans or college seniors like Chandler Parsons from Florida or Justin Harper from Richmond. There is also the possibility of a slider such as Jordan Hamilton from Texas or Tyler Honeycutt from UCLA falling in their lap.

And of course, being the Mavs and Donnie Nelson, there is always the possibility of a draft and stash, a foreign player drafted high that is allowed to continue to develop overseas before he is brought to the NBA.

Either way, a rookie isn't likely to make much of an impact this season, but you could argue this is the Mavs' most important draft in quite some time, and now isn't a time to rest on those championship laurels.